Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Top 5 girlie books that men will probably never read (unless it's to prove me wrong on purpose)

List by Tosca

Please note: This top 5 list has been transferred across from our Manukau Libraries website.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
- Jane Austen, Pride and prejudice

An article I read a while ago (and have never been able to find since) discussed the gender differences in fiction selection. Women, it seemed, would read across a variety of genre by both male and female writers. A lot of women also commented that during troubled times in their lives they were able to find solace or guidance from a book. In fact, when interviewed, most women said the book that helped them the most during their lives was Jane Eyre, followed just as closely by Pride and Prejudice.

Men, on the other hand, did not see a link between fiction and life choices. A clear theme was that men preferred stories with a strong narrative, so much the better if it included an intellectual struggle. Another point of interest - and I'm not so sure this is a male trait so much as it is a human trait - is that when men would find an author who they identified with, they would use them as a literary guide. They would also read other authors that this particular one cited or quoted.

Something I try to do is re-read books that made a huge impression on me at least three times in my lifetime: as a child, as an adolescent, and as an adult. Each time I get something new out of it. It must be a girlie thing, then, because the article tells me that men do not do this. A book that was painfully important at puberty would, apparently, seem overly sentimental later, thereby spoiling the experience.

In short, women like touchy feely books, and men aren't looking for instrospective characters. A huge generalisation! The list below is all my own - ones that I've used as experiments and tried to foist off on male friends and brothers and had thrust right back.

We'd appreciate our male readers telling us what they would or wouldn't read, either from the list below or at all. So leave us a comment today!

The bride thief / Jennie Lucas
"Xerxes Novros is about to do more than just voice his reasons why Rose's marriage should be stopped ... He's hoping to steal this beautiful wife-to-be away and whisk her off to his private Greek island! But Rose was to be a virgin bride ... and Xerxes is determined to give her the wedding night she's been stolen from. Rose is torn; pride dictates that she should refuse Xerxes his pleasure. But, secretly, she can't deny a startling truth--she's fallen for her dark, handsome captor!" -- Publisher.

How to set his thighs on fire : 86 red-hot lessons on love, life, men, and (especially) sex / Kate White
In her seven years as editor-in-chief of the women's bible, Cosmopolitan, Kate White has learned a lot about what women want. From landing a great job to enjoying great sex, White presents 86 lessons on having it all -- complete with anecdotes and tips from her own life and the celebrities and experts she's met. Whether it's when to act like a bitch and when not to or how to get a man to really open up or discovering the moan zone on a man's body that most women ignore, White tells women everything they ever needed to know to take on the world.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles / Thomas Hardy
Cruelly seduced by her relative, the cynical Alec D'Urberville, betrayed by the moral Angel Clare and haunted by her guilt and shame, Tess becomes Hardy's indictment of all the crimes and hyprocrisies of 19th century England. Young Tess Durbeyfield attempts to restore her family's fortunes by claiming their connection with the aristocratic d'Urbervilles. But Alec d'Urberville is a rich wastrel who seduces her and makes her life miserable. When she meets Angel Clare, she is offered true love and happiness, but her past catches up with her and she faces an agonizing moral choice. This unique critical text is taken from the Clarendon edition, based on the manuscript and collated with Hardy's later revisions.

He's just not that into you : the no-excuses truth to understanding guys / Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
Amusingly written guide to man-woman relationships which is full of commonsense and hard-hitting advice to the lovelorn woman. It encourages, also, to examine her own life and take charge of her love life.

Love me / Bella Andre
It's been five years since Lily Ellis and Travis Carson got married and fell in love in TAKE it's finally time for Janica Ellis and Luke Carson to get their very own happy ending. If there's one thing that Janica Ellis is absolutely certain of, it's that she and Luke Carson are totally wrong for each other. She's a wild, artistic and outspoken fashion designer. He's a type A, workaholic trauma surgeon (who just happens to be sizzling hot and her brother-in-law!). But Janica is about to be proven wrong when opposites the sexiest possible way. After a life-changing night in the ER, Luke is desperate for escape - and relief from his personal demons. For five years he has fought his attraction to his sister-in-law, but when he's pushed too far, he can't fight it another second. He needs her. Desperately. He's spent his whole life doing the right thing. For one night, he's going to follow desire instead. Straight into Janica's arms. Janica can't believe Luke is finally at her front door...and that he's kissing her like he's been waiting his whole life to touch her. But even as their sensual connection deepens with every touch of skin on skin - and the man she always thought was such a good boy turns out to be sinfully, toe-curlingly bad between the sheets - Janica soon realizes she wants more than Luke's body. She wants his heart too. But what will Luke do when one night of extreme passion turns into an all or nothing proposition?

Note: Not long after I composed this list Bruce Ringer (Team Leader, South Auckland Research Centre, Heritage) handed me the following funny-but-true response:

How I choose a novel in a library:
  • It it's in the romance or fantasy sections, I don't read it.
  • If the print size is too big or too small, I don't read it.
  • If it's written in the present tense, I don't read it.
  • If the blurb says 'magic realism' or 'cutting edge', I don't read it.
  • If it has a woman as the main character, I don't read it.
  • If it's a book set in a submarine or race track, I don't read it.
  • If it's written by a woman, I don't read it.
  • (Unless the woman is called Fred or George).
  • I choose from whatever is left.
  • 1 comment:

    catatonia said...

    Zachary left a comment on our Manukau Facebook page asking, 'What about Twilight?' :)